cover image The Cure for Dreaming

The Cure for Dreaming

Cat Winters. Abrams/Amulet, $17.95 (368p) ISBN 978-1-4197-1216-6

During a stage show on Halloween night in the year 1900, 17-year-old Olivia Mead is hypnotized by Henri Reverie, a dashing young mesmerist visiting Portland, Ore., from Montreal. The hypnosis is such a success that Olivia’s controlling father hires Henri to render Olivia proper and docile, eliminating her free spirit, passion for a career, and growing support of the women’s suffrage movement. However, Henri deceives Olivia’s father with slippery language, commanding Olivia to “see the world the way it truly is,” and only be able to say the words “all is well” in response. Suddenly, Olivia’s father and other misogynistic citizens appear to her as terrifying vampiric creatures, women are seen in cages or vanishing into thin air, and those who support women’s rights glow “with breathtaking luminescence.” A subtle setup this is not, but Winters (In the Shadow of Blackbirds) creates a rich, gothic backdrop (further brought to life through period photographs and illustrations) for a story that will open many readers’ eyes to historical injustices inflicted on women—injustices with plenty of present-day parallels. Ages 12–up. Agent: Barbara Poelle, Irene Goodman Agency. (Oct.)